The songwriter and singer Tom Paxton released a song by this same name on his 1977 album New Songs from the Briarpatch (which reappeared recently in a compilation titled The Best of the Vanguard Years,) also inspired by the story of Ron Kovic. It appears to be one of Paxton's lesser-known works for some reason, but is hailed as one of his finest.

Born on the Fourth of July is a refreshing change from the self-righteous or allegorical songs about about Vietnam, tragedy, and peace produced by so many other singers of the period. That is, as far as such a devastatingly painful evocation can be considered "refreshing." I first heard this song produced by a very local singer in my hometown of Vancouver, Washington, and have re-listened to the recording from time to time over the years (it's the only casette tape I've bothered to keep.) For a child of the 80s who tends to view the 60s and 70s with disgust and vague embarassment, it's nice to find something honest and not smarmy or caught up in itself to connect me to the very real tragedies of the time, even if it makes me feel suspiciously choked up.

Okay, to be honest, I cry like a little kid whenever I hear it (or even sing it to myself.) That's good music, in my book.